Mainland China accounted for 10.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units, or 36.4 percent of the nearly 30 million TEUs in U.S. containerized trade in 2012. Volume to and from China was up 2.6 percent year-over-year and 8 percent above pre-recession 2008. That compares to 1.5 percent growth year-over-year in overall U.S. laden container trade and 3.5 percent growth over the pre-recession year of 2008.
Following mainland China and rounding out the top five U.S. trading partners by market share were Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. All told, the Top 5 U.S. Trading Partners accounted for 52.2 percent of the nearly 30 million TEUs in U.S. containerized trade in 2012. That represents growth of 0.7 percent year-over-year and is 3.6 percent above 2008.
The only Top 30 U.S. trading partner posting double-digit year-over-year growth in 2012 was 22nd-ranked Costa Rica, at 10 percent. The 23rd-ranked United Arab Emirates gained 9.7 percent while eighth-ranked Vietnam increased 7.1 percent. By contrast, 10 of the Top 30 declined year-over-year, led by fifth-ranked Hong Kong’s 11.6 decline in U.S. containerized trade percent and followed by No. 29 Singapore, down 9.6 percent from 2011.
The U.A.E. led the way in comparisons vs. 2008, growing 53.8 percent over the four years. followed by Vietnam at 33.2 percent and seventh-ranked India, which surged 32.6 percent. In contrast, 12 of the Top 30 U.S. trading partners declined in 2012 from their 2008 volumes, led by Hong Kong, whose U.S. containerized trade fell 13.8 percent. No. 14 Thailand experienced an 11 percent decline and 19th-ranked Malaysia saw its U.S. trade slip 10.2 percent from 2008.
Altogether, the JOC Top 30 U.S. trading partners accounted for 86.5 percent — or 25.9 million TEUs — of the total U.S. containerized trade in 2012. That represented a year-over-year gain of 1.4 percent for the Top 30 and was up 3.9 percent from 2008.
Click here for the Top 30 rankings table, which compares trade in 2012 with trade in 2008-2011.